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Jackson Rotary Classic to feature six ranked teams for fourth straight year

JACKSON, Tenn. - 11/18/2009 - The Jackson Rotary Club will host their 16th Annual Jackson Rotary Classic and for the seventh straight season, Union University’s Fred DeLay Gymnasium will be the site. The Rotary Classic begins Thursday, Nov. 19 and goes through Saturday, Nov. 21.

The Jackson Rotary Classic will benefit the Madison Haywood Developmental Services, Youth Town of Tennessee, and will also fund scholarships for students from each of the high schools in Madison County.

Year after year, the Jackson Rotary Classic has featured some of the NAIA’s best talent in women’s basketball. The fans of West Tennessee and many from across the nation often get a preview of the same teams that make their way back to Jackson in March for the NAIA Women’s Basketball National Tournament at Oman Arena.

In fact, each of the last six NAIA women’s basketball national champions played in the Jackson Rotary Classic the year they won the title (Southern Nazarene 2004, Union 2005, 2006, Lambuth 2007, Vanguard 2008, Union 2009).

In each of the four seasons since the classic expanded to six teams in 2003, the entire field of six is ranked or receiving votes in the NAIA preseason rankings. This season, the classic boasts three teams in the top 10, four in the top 25, with all six teams ranked in the top 29. This year’s field includes top 25 teams No. 1 Union (Tenn.) University, No. 6 Freed-Hardeman (Tenn.) University, No. 9 Lambuth (Tenn.) University, No. 25 Biola (Calif.) University. The Master’s (Calif.) College and Westminster (Utah) College are receiving votes in the preseason rankings.

Five of the six teams in this year’s classic participated in the 2009 NAIA Women’s Basketball National Tournament in Jackson last March. Masters’s missed the tournament for the first time in four seasons. Freed-Hardeman, Westminster and Biola each advanced to the second round, while Lambuth and Union both advanced to the championship game with Union winning their fourth NAIA title.

The Rotary Classic field could be on display again in March of 2010 as these teams work to get back to Jackson for the national tournament. This year’s Rotary Classic field has combined for 54 total national tournament appearances, posting a combined record of 93-49 (.655). The field has advanced to 15 semifinals appearances (Union 10, Freed-Hardeman 2, Lambuth 2 and The Master’s 1). Included in the 15 trips to the semifinals, the field has also produced five national champions (Union 4, Lambuth 1) and three national runner-up finishes (Union 2, Lambuth 1).

#UNION#

Jackson Rotary Classic - November 19 - 21, 2009
(All game times are listed as central time)

Thursday, November 19

Friday, November 20

Saturday, November 21


Steven Aldridge
Phone: (731) 661-5027
Sports Information
Fax: (731) 661-5182

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